14 thoughts on “Government woes”

  1. That actually reads like one of those Chris Morris/Brass Eye jokes where they had celebrities warn people about paedophile advocacy groups; they called the group MILITPEDE. From the sublime to the ridiculous, and worse.

  2. I took a social work class on child abuse when I was in college in the States. It was taught by the chairman of the department, who insisted on calling sexual abuse “sexual misuse” and advanced the agenda that often what is damaging to sexually abused children was the way society reacted to their abuse, not the actual abuse itself. His claim was that in some cases, the abuse wasn’t abuse because the child could consent and enjoy it. His class was absolutely enraging and I don’t know how he kept his job because I know people complained about him.

  3. Ann – I can recall, from my time doing pgrad criminology, that there ARE empirical studies advancing that theory. Certainly it’s possible for “children” (ie those under 16) to possess the ability to consent to sex and even to make mature decisions about it. That’s why in most countries there isn’t a hard and fast rule about prosecuting statutory rape cases.

    That said, the NVD do sound like a bunch of nutters. Free train travel indeed.

    The best thing to do with short-lived political movements like this is give them the oxygen of publicity. The more we mock them, the less likely they are ever to achieve political office.

  4. Well, there’s children and then there’s children, you know. He was talking about kids as young as 4, 5, 6. I have a really hard time accepting his logic on that point.

    As for teenagers, of course, some amount of sexual exploration is completely normal, necessary, and should be acceptable. But I still feel that two 14 year olds together is entirely different kettle of fish than a 14 year old girl with a 30-something guy. When the age differential is that high, there’s an inherent imbalance in the relationship that, to my mind, casts a certain pall on the girl’s ability to consent.

  5. Well said Ann … having gone through Catholic high school here in the states, as well as a Catholic University, I wasn’t aware of such teachings until I entered SU for my Master’s program. I was taken back by opinion of instructors given as fact. I as well have heard the ‘misuse’ term and the accompanying rationale. What hogwash … and our immediate response was the attitude towards the
    criminal … not the victim.
    Many in this class filed grievances but since the instructor had tenure … nothing was done. I might add, I’ve only heard this demented debate in the classroom and it wasn’t utilized to simply generate thought.

    Ita only a matter of time before some challenged group here in the states pick up on a similar cause like the Man/Boy Assoc. {NAMBA}who think along the same lines … except with same sex partners.
    [Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay …so long as they are consenting adults].

    One has to be 21 to buy a pint at the local filling station … but they advocate to enable 10 year olds to make hard life decisions.

    Ann is right … kids exploring with kids is one thing. Adults explorig with kids is simply sick.

    I think NVD as well as the posting Sheridan had a few weeks back about that Roper woman are given too much free publicity … but then again, that can be start of their demise.

  6. I’m a bit confused… My post was attacking the Dutch party, and pointing out that there is some academic literature backing Ann’s tutor’s position – but certainly not providing a defence of either!

    I’m NOT backing the NVD, and certainly despise their aims. And I think that’s pretty clear from my post. But if you’re going to criticise an academic position (one that’s only really gained a foothold in the States, I would point out) you might as well know on what it’s based.

    Whilst Ann may be correct and the NVD advocate sex with “kids as young as 4, 5, 6” (I’m not so sure that they DO), the studies aren’t talking about kids of that age.

    It’s very easy, with sexual offences, to bury one’s head in the sand and accept commonly held beliefs as truth. But by way of example – we now question whether or not sexual abuse as a minor directly leads to abusive behaviour in adulthood; and if we are to truly understand (and perhaps one day prevent) child abuse we have to look at ALL academic theories, analyse and THEN debunk them, rather than attacking those who have the temerity to discuss the issue!

  7. Regardless as to which comment you are
    addressing, I don’t see any of the above
    comments doing what you claim.

    If referring to mine, I spoke of a
    specific Individual in a classroom forum
    guising personal opinion as fact. Nowhere
    did I attack any academic theory. I have
    no problem and would encourage intelligent
    debate on this or any other topic. If NAMBA
    is an academic forum, then I stand corrected.
    {I sincerely doubt they are}.
    Thank you for so keenly pointing out they are exclusive to the US.

    Your words: we now question whether or not sexual abuse as a minor directly leads to abusive behaviour in adulthood;

    …and if we are to truly understand (and perhaps one day prevent) child abuse we have to look at ALL academic theories, analyse and THEN debunk them, rather than attacking those who have the temerity to discuss the issue!

    You are obviously a much better person than I am. I envy your level of attainment.

    I don’t want to understand child sex abuse …
    its wrong and it needs to stop. Once we
    start giving such crimes against children a supercilious agenda in academia, rationale
    evolves in those who do not have the
    intellectual or moral backbone to simply
    stand up for what is right. There does
    come a time when we as a society need to put fictitious intellect and peculiar correctness
    aside and for once deal with basic reality.

  8. Tony – was referring to both your post and that of Ann in that they both appeared a thinly veiled attack on me, and that your post appeared to follow on from hers where you related a similar personal experience.

    I speak only as someone who’s done a reasonable amount of work on sexual offences, but by no means someone who gives the theories we’re talking about (in the most general of terms, i might add) any credence WHATSOEVER. When i said you seemed to be “attacking those who have the temerity to discuss the issue” I was referring to ME rather than the academics in possession of views askew you both talked of; perhaps that might remove some of your ire when you return here to comment.

    Your tutor may well have been disguising opinion as fact – if so, I’d say he was a pretty poor academic in general, given that analysis of sexual offences (as with all crime) deals largely with theory and hypothesis. A quick fifteen second interjection would have been enough to point that one out.

    The fact remains that there exist empirical studies advancing the theory that societal reaction is the most damaging factor – a theory which can quickly be debunked if you place alongside it the VAST sum of research to the contrary. Far better to do that than play into the hands of these pseudo-academics and point-blank refuse to even discuss the issue. As for your trite remark “Thank you for so keenly pointing out they are exclusive to the US”, it’s fair to say that the European dialectic has resulted in these views being roundly panned – whereas in YOUR neck of the woods individuals and academics like you pointedly refuse to even discuss such matters, fearful of attacks similar to that both you and Ann have carried out on me; and as a consequence these “theories” gain a foothold.

  9. cont’d

    You write:
    “I don’t want to understand child sex abuse …
    its wrong and it needs to stop.”

    Perhaps YOU don’t want to understand child abuse, but I’d wager that most professionals working in the field from academics down would dearly love to better understand the phenomenon. And whilst I certainly agree with the second part of the above, for such acts of hideousness to stop there must surely be some understanding of WHY it happens. As regards dealing with both abusers and the abused, how can we even attempt to treat them if we have no cognisance of the circumstances surrounding it?

    There just seems to be, on both your part and Ann’s, a feeling that discussion of viewpoints different to your own is unacceptable. And whilst I’d agree that the position taken by NAMBA, the NVD, and others, and the research we’re all tangentially referencing, is TOTALLY, UNEQUIVOCALLY and WITHOUT DOUBT WRONG – if we ignore, rather than engage with these idiots, we give credence to them.

    You write:
    “There does come a time when we as a society need to put fictitious intellect and peculiar correctness
    aside and for once deal with basic reality”.

    I agree to a certain extent, in that there are several basic assumptions I’d hope most people have – sexual abuse is wrong; the abused need help and treatment following their experiences, and should not be maligned for circumstances outwith their control; abusers should be treated, rather than villified, if we are to prevent recidivism.

    There will always be a certain bitter taste in the mouth whenever we try to discuss such emotive matters as child abuse in an academic, empirical setting; the fact remains that IT IS NECESSARY to do so.

    And as for:
    “You are obviously a much better person than I am. I envy your level of attainment.”

    …you are simply descending to the level of the idiots we BOTH despise.

    It just beggars belief.

  10. Thanks Niall, this is a clever, well thought out comment.

    However, I choose not to respond to empty accusations
    or abstract interpretations of the written word.
    Again, I do not see anywhere in my comments or even
    Ann’s where anyone attacked you. Interesting, you seem to do most of that attacking quite well in your demure sea of words.

  11. Hold on a second there. I’m sorry if anyone felt attacked – that certainly wasn’t my intent. My intention was just to clarify my terms. All I’m saying is that you have to draw some lines and the guy at my school definitely was talking about *all* children.
    I have grave doubts about the ability of a 6 year old or a 12 year old to be able to consent to sex.

    Clearly, there is no magic line after which all individuals are granted the wisdom and maturity to make these sorts of decisions. Human laws and justice are imperfect things and often just based on best guesses or commonly held beliefs that change and evolve over time. (remember, once upon a time, it was thought that women didn’t have the intellectual capacity and reason to be able to vote.) I would actually be interested in reading any of these studies that Niall has cited.

    I’m not sure where you got the idea that I’m opposed to viewpoints other than my own. That’s not the case at all. I enjoy a good, spirited debate as much as the next person and I’m actually a big subscriber to the “free market place of ideas” theory. Let the nutters say whatever they want to say as it reveals them as such.

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